Halloween 2013. Seriously, who would want to change this awesome style!? In this costume (1930s reporter) I felt confident, like I looked good and I had fun. On top of that, because it was a unique look, people were stopping me and asking for my picture! No hiding here!
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem/ I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone. – Savage Garden, Affirmation
I have avoided beauty magazines for a long time, probably since I was about 15 years old. I did this for two reasons:
1. I was too busy and had too little income to spend my money on magazines.
2. I felt like the images in those magazines were unattainable and generally fake, so I chose not to subject myself to them.
I’m still far too busy and have too little income to spend on things like beauty magazines. I’m the kind of person that would rather spend on things like musical instruments or a good book; something I’m not likely to discard after one use.
More and more, I am congratulating my 15-year-old self for making the decision to avoid those magazines. with the advent of the internet, everyone can look into the process of creating these images and thanks to YouTube, we can see the full process compressed into a five-to-ten minute infobyte.
Photoshop: The Perfect Lie
With Photoshop, it becomes easy (for the professionals) to trim five, ten, twenty or even fifty pounds off your frame. They can perfect your skin, remove any and all sun damage, even change your skin tone.
Right now, fit is the new skinny. Everyone (women and men) wants a tight butt, washboard abs, no underarm flub, the infamous between-the-thighs gap, shapely calves, toned shoulders, no love handles… and this is the VERY short list. Everywhere you are bombarded by posts/ articles on how to get perfect ___________. Well, unless you are willing to commit to these health overhauls for the next fifty years without fail, you won’t come close. It’s really a no pain, no gain situation; but in all seriousness, that’s not even enough. If you put in the time to become that fit god/goddess, that’s great, but you’re supposed to be fit and without any discernible flaws. Crow’s feet? Laugh lines? Botox ‘em out. A little jowly? facelift. Less than prominent jawline? Chin implant. Boob job. Rhinoplasty. Permanent makeup tattoos. Liposuction. Tummy tucks. Butt lifts. Calf implants! If you have something you don’t like, you can change it for a price! I have even had my freckles (which I adore) referred to as flaws!
I was in a Sephora about two or three years back and an associate tried to sell me a foundation product on the point that it would “cover up all those freckles.” I walked out. I have always loved my freckles, and other than about one week every summer where they decide that they want to make my lips look huge (I have a ring of freckles that become very prominent around my lips at the beginning of summer) I never want to make them hide. I have actually forgone putting on foundation when my skin is clear and I really want them to shine, so to have someone insinuate that I should hide my freckles (my damn cute freckles) really irritated me… no… it really pissed me off.
I am not a porcelain doll, and neither is anyone else. About a week ago I flippantly referred to someone as “Friday night Barbie” because of the lengths she had gone to so she would look flawless (and THAT went out the window about an hour into the evening when her face started to melt). Granted, her makeup was done well, but it was obviously put on thickly and when it started to slide down her face, she lost a lot of allure.
I believe people have the right to look how they choose, but I also believe that people are shown such unattainable versions of beauty that we don’t even know how we want to look, just how we are supposed to look according to the magazines. I think it’s important that everyone take a look at what really goes into the cover page of their favourite magazine; once you know, it might be easier to set more realistic goals.
PS- just to show I don’t hate Photoshop, check out my awesome cousin Shawn St. Jean (shawnstjean.com) who is an amazing graphic designer, photographer and all around nice guy! He used a picture of mine that he edited in is posted under Digital Design → Print Graphics.